The SecondLife client is dual licensed under the GPL and commercial licenses.
Regarding the use of Mono, Cory states:
Open Sourcing the client does not impact continued development of Mono or other planned improvements to LSL. Although Mono is also an Open Source project, that code will be running on the server, not the client. As has been previously discussed, part of the reason for going to Mono and the Common Language Runtime is to eventually allow more flexibility in scripting language choice.
Cory explains some of the rationale for open sourcing the client:
Third, security. While many of you raised question about security, the reality is that Open Source will result in a more secure viewer and Second Life for everyone. Will exploits be found as a result of code examination? Almost certainly, but the odds are far higher than the person discovering the bug is someone working to make Second Life better. Would those exploits have been found by reverse engineering in order to crack the client? Yes, but with a far smaller chance that the exploit will be made public. Also, as part of the preparation for Open Source, we conducted a security audit and took other precautions to mitigate the security risks.
Fourth, as we continue to scale the Second Life development team --- and thank you to the many folks who have helped to get our hiring pipeline humming again --- Open Source becomes a great way for potential developers to demonstrate their skill and creativity with our code. Moreover, it makes it even easier for remote developers to become part of Linden Lab. The possibility space for Second Life is enormous, so the more development horsepower we can apply to it --- whether working for Linden Lab or now --- the faster we all can take Second Life from where it is today into the future.
And also, a new book on SecondLife is coming out.
Posted on 10 Jan 2007